GIM director to call it a day at work, write a book on management practices

Peter FX D’Lima, director of Goa Institute of Management

The director of the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) Peter FX DLima is going to be putting in his papers shortly. Known to be the face of GIMs new campus, this is DLimas third stint with the management institute ever since he first took charge of it in 2005. DLima told PaGaLGuY that after his having been with GIM for a while now, it was time for some fresh blood to take over.” The hunt for a new director is on.

You cannot be at a place forever. It is not good for the institute either, said DLima, who does not seem like he is 70 at all. DLimas second objective behind quitting GIM is to write a book. The subject matter will be management, naturally but his source matter will not come from the institute only. All the places I have worked at, there were different management styles in practice. I learned from every one of them and that is what I want to showcase to the world, he said.

After existing in a colonial building that was a former hospital, GIM moved to a new campus in Sanquelim last year. The new location, about 40 kms from state capital Panjim, is on top of a hill and enveloped by mountains and rough terrain on all sides. With the new location, however, came the increase in fees and rise in intake from 120 students to 240.

Getting to the new campus was an experience by itself for D’Lima and the board of directors in GIM. The estimate for the new campus was worked out at Rs 63 crore. Of this, Rs 40 crore was to be raised via a bank loan, Rs 10 crore from internal savings and Rs 10 crore from donations. He also had to arrange sanctions and permissions from various authorities. While the money came in fast, it took a hell of a time running around to various authorities for getting permissions, says D’Lima.

It has been a year now that the new campus is operational and running. Besides the fancy classrooms and faculty cabins, two interesting changes brought about by DLima are in simple matters such as discipline and aesthetics. He has banned students from drying clothes in the balcony and brought in heavy-duty dryers for the job. And he has also decided to stop entertaining students walking in even a second late to class. “As of now, they are given a five-minute grace but that grace will cease to exist from the next academic year. Students in India are not disciplined. You can see the difference when we have international students on campus. They are always on time for everything, he says.

Before getting on board at GIM, D’Lima was considered a corporate whiz-man-on-the-block. He started his career as a graduate engineer with Larsen & Toubro, then two decades with Hindustan Lever Ltd in Mumbai and Unilever PLC, London in various managerial assignments before joining the board of Sesa Goa Group of Industries where he worked for 18 years. He also held the position of Managing Director at Sesa Kembla Coke Company.

DLimas first stint with GIM was in the February 2005 to October 2006 period. He took over the directorship again between May and August 2008 and the third (current) stint started in March 2009. The GIM director does not have a PhD in his qualifications, and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) made an issue about it quite often.

Having come a long way, DLima still treasures his first job at Larsen & Toubro. There were no placements then. We had to hunt for our jobs. After all the searching I had three job offers. One was for Rs 1,100 as salary, the other for Rs 750 and L&T; for Rs 500. I took up L&T; because I liked the job profile. I left the company in a year but those days we never looked at salary as the deciding factor to join a company,” he reflects.

Being happy in ones space (job) is the best way to live life, he says. In his 20-year stint in Hindustan Lever, DLima took only ten days leave, he says. In his 18 years at Sesa Goa, he took eight days leave, both the times because he was seriously ill. At GIM, he is yet to take a long leave but maybe there is no time for it because very soon, he will just be bidding a goodbye to the place he built.